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Top 20 World’s Best Low-Cost Airlines 2017

World's Best Low-Cost Airlines

Impressively, AirAsia is the world’s best low-cost airline for the 9th year running. Based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the airline operates an extensive network covering more than 120 destinations in 26 countries across Asia, Australia and New Zealand, the Middle East and the USA. Just 15 years ago, the airline was a failing state-owned business but was rapidly turned around by CEO Tony Fernandes.

Also voted best long-haul low-cost airline and best low-cost airline in Europe, Norwegian Air comes in second on this list. The company flies to more than 100 destinations throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the USA – making headlines earlier this year when it offered one-way flights between Dublin and New York for just $90 (£69). Its planes are instantly recognizable as they each have a red nose and portraits of famous Scandinavians on their tail fins.

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“You above all” is the reassuring slogan of JetBlue Airways, credited with raising the standards of low-cost carriers in the US thanks to its friendly-service, satellite TV and free snacks. With headquarters in New York, the carrier has routes to 102 destinations across North, Central and South America. The company recently announced plans to remove its schedules from 11 online travel sites to encourage direct bookings, thereby cutting the commission it pays to third parties.

No-frills British airline easyJet burst onto the scene in 1995, launched by self-titled ‘serial entrepreneur’ Stelios Haji-Ioannou. It’s now the second-largest airline in Europe by number of passengers, behind Ryanair, carrying around 73 million people annually. EasyJet flies to more than 100 destinations throughout Europe and North Africa.

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Virgin America prides itself on offering a top-notch service at an affordable price. Even passengers in the main cabin can expect mood lighting, snacks, power outlets, wi-fi, leather seats and video touchscreens in every seatback. Those flying in Select and First Class have more legroom and premium meals. Virgin America flies to 21 destinations across the US, plus three in Mexico.

Jetstar Airways is based in Melbourne and promotes itself as “Australia’s No. 1 Low Fares Airline”. Founded in 2004, the company flies to destinations throughout Australia and New Zealand and also has routes to China, Japan, Vietnam, the US, Thailand, Malaysia, Fiji, Indonesia and the Cook Islands. Jetstar Airways is wholly owned by Qantas Airways, which offers a more premium service.

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Long-haul and low-cost carrier AirAsiaX has flown over 19 million passengers since it launched its maiden flight 10 years ago. It currently serves 23 destinations across Asia, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East and Africa. Earlier this year, founder Tony Fernandes ended speculation that the airline would return to Europe and start flying to the US, confirming the company will remain focused on Asia only.

Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras is the latest success of co-founder David Neelemen, who also helped build JetBlue and WestJet. Founded in 2008, the São Paulo-based budget airline’s success is largely down to the fact it began by targeting under-served cities throughout Brazil. Its fleet of 125 jets now fly to more than 100 destinations throughout Argentina, Bolivia, French Guiana, Portugal, the USA, and Uruguay.

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The world’s largest low-cost carrier, Southwest Airlines has more than 700 Boeing 737 jets and operates more than 4,000 flights a day in peak season. The Dallas-based airline flies to around 100 destinations across the US, South America and the Caribbean.

New Dehli-based IndiGo is the largest airline in India in terms of passengers carried – a total of 41 million people last year. One of the fastest-growing aviation companies in Asia, it’s about to add another 400 Airbus jets to its current fleet of 100. IndiGo flies to 46 destinations, most of which are domestic, but also airports in Nepal, Oman, Qatar, Singapore and Thailand, along with Dubai and Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.

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Launched in 1996, WestJet was originally a small regional airline but has grown to become the second-largest carrier in Canada. The cost-conscious company now flies to more than 100 destinations throughout Canada, Central America, Mexico, Europe and the Caribbean – and plans to expand into Asia and South America in the next few years.

Owned by Singapore Airlines, Scoot was launched in 2012. The company offers a no-frills, low-cost service alongside business class ‘ScootBiz’, which offers extra legroom and larger, leather seats. Scoot operates services in Singapore, Honolulu, China, Malaysia and the Gold Coast of Australia.

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Jetstar Asia, an off-shoot of Jetstar Airways, flew into the skies in 2004. A latecomer to the budget aviation market, the business differentiated itself from other airlines by traveling within a five-hour radius of Singapore, while its competitors didn’t go beyond four hours. Jetstar Asia travels to around 100 destinations across India, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia, New Zealand and Australia.

Low-cost carrier Eurowings flies to more than 150 destinations throughout Europe as well as Thailand and South Africa. The company offers passengers three fare options for both short and long-haul flights: Basic (flight only), Smart (preferred seating, food and luggage included) and Best (premium seating and legroom, à la carte catering and in-flight entertainment). Its parent company, Lufthansa, recently bought over 81 of Air Berlin’s plane, increasing the Eurowings fleet to 210 aircraft.

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Dublin-based Ryanair is Europe’s largest airline in terms of passenger numbers. The company serves 34 countries throughout the continent as well as Morocco and Israel. The budget airline made the list despite cancelling thousands of flights this summer after a ‘mess-up’ in how it scheduled time off for pilots. Customer satisfaction improved from 2014 when Ryanair allowed customers two free carry-on bags. But, from January 2018, passengers will be charged for the privilege.

Spain’s second-largest carrier, Vueling flies to over 160 destinations throughout Europe, Africa and Asia. The company, based in Barcelona, offers three fares: Basic, Optima (allocated seating and check-in luggage) and Excellence (front row, allocated seating, priority boarding, larger luggage allowance). The airline flew 2 million passengers in the UK during the summer 2017, an 8% increase from the summer season of 2016.

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Tigerair Singapore merged with Scoot in July 2017 and now operates under that name, but before all this it was voted the 17th best low-cost airline in the world. The economy service continues to operate flights throughout southeast Asia, Bangladesh, China and India. (This entry does not refer to Tigerair Australia, which is a different operation entirely.)

Japanese airline Peach operates 14 domestic routes and flies to 15 international destinations across Hong Kong, China, Thailand, Taiwan and South Korea. Passengers can chose between three fares: Simple, Value and Prime, with the more expensive options offering allocated seats, additional legroom and bigger luggage allowances.

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A low-cost subsidiary of Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge began operating in 2013 with just four aircraft. The company now has 49 planes and flies to more than 90 popular destinations throughout Canada, Europe, the Caribbean, South America and the USA. The airline is currently in the process of adding high-speed wi-fi to its entire fleet. All Airbus 319s will be equipped by spring, followed by its Airbus 321s and Boeing 767s later in 2018.

In 2014, Indian airline SpiceJet was about to fold – and was even forced to cancel 2,000 flights because it couldn’t afford to pay for oil. Its fortunes changed when chairman Ajay Singh took over and it’s now the third-largest carrier in the country. SpiceJet now operates more than 300 flights to 55 destinations throughout India, China, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

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Courtesy ; MSN & Skytrax

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He is an aviation journalist and the founder of Jetline Marvel. Dawal gained a comprehensive understanding of the commercial aviation industry.  He has worked in a range of roles for more than 9 years in the aviation and aerospace industry. He has written more than 1700 articles in the aerospace industry. When he was 19 years old, he received a national award for his general innovations and holds the patent. He completed two postgraduate degrees simultaneously, one in Aerospace and the other in Management. Additionally, he authored nearly six textbooks on aviation and aerospace tailored for students in various educational institutions. jetlinem4(at)gmail.com

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Asia

Singapore Airlines emergency landing after severe turbulence

A Singapore Airlines Boeing 777 Aircraft lands at Singapore Changi Airport (Incident aircraft not pictured)

One passenger passed on, while dozens of passengers were injured when a Singapore Airlines Boeing B777-300ER aircraft experienced severe turbulence while en route to Singapore from London Heathrow Airport. The aircraft diverted to Bangkok, and landed at 3:45pm Local time on 21 May 2024 

The flight landed with 211 Passengers and 11 Crew members at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport. According to the Airport Director Kittipong Kittikachorn at a news conference, there were 7 passengers who suffered serious injuries, while a number of other passengers suffered injuries of varying seriousness.

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It was also confirmed that the passenger who passed on was a 73 year old British Man. In a statement from Singapore Airlines ‘ As of 0505 hours Singapore Time on 22 May 2024, 79 passengers and 6 crew members from SQ321 remain in Bangkok’. In another statement, it was reported that a relief flight with 143 passengers and crew members arrived in Singapore at 0505 hours Singapore time on 22 May 2024.

According to aircraft tracking site FlightRadar24, the 16 Year Old Boeing B777-300ER aircraft descended sharply from 37,000 feet to 31,000 feet in a short time. It was also further reported by FlightRadar24 that the descent was commanded by Autopilot, instead of being caused by turbulence.

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Shortly afterwards, the pilot declared an emergency by squeaking 7700 on the transponder, indicating an emergency situation onboard the aircraft. The Boeing 777 aircraft then diverted to Bangkok, instead of continuing on its planned journey to Singapore. 

In view of this incident, Singapore Airlines mentioned in a statement that they are working with the relevant authorities on the investigation into this incident.

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The National Transportation Safety Board, a US Government investigative agency for civil aviation incidents, is sending an accredited representative and 4 technical advisors to support the investigation by Singapore’s Transport Safety Investigation Bureau (TSIB). TSIB mentioned in a statement that it ‘is in touch with its Thai counterparts and will be deploying investigators to Bangkok’. 

Boeing, the manufacturer of the Boeing B777 aircraft mentioned in a statement that they are in contact with Singapore Airlines regarding the ill-fated flight, and ‘stand ready to support them’. 

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This situation is developing, more details will be added when they become available. 

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Aviation

Top 5 light helicopter under 3 million

Top 5 light helicopter under 3 million

In the realm of aviation, helicopters represent a unique blend of agility, versatility, and accessibility. For many, the allure of piloting a helicopter is irresistible, whether for recreational flying, aerial photography, or even business transportation.

However, for those looking to invest in their own rotorcraft, affordability is often a crucial consideration. With a budget of under $3 million, prospective buyers are presented with a range of options, each offering its own blend of performance, features, and value.

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In this Video, we’ll explore the top five light helicopters available on the market, all priced under $3 million.

1. Robinson R44 Raven: The Robinson R44 Raven is a popular and versatile light helicopter known for its reliability. It typically accommodates four passengers and a pilot. It boasts a cruise speed of around 130 knots (150 mph) and a range of approximately 300 nautical miles. It starts at around $400,000 to $500,000. The R44 Raven is often used for various applications, including private transportation, aerial photography, and training due to its agility and affordability in the light helicopter category.

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2.MD530F: The MD530F, also from MD Helicopters, is a compact and nimble helicopter known for its agility and maneuverability. It’s often used in law enforcement and military applications. It typically falls within the price range of $2.5 million,depending on factors such as configuration, optional features, and market conditions. It is equipped with a Rolls-Royce 250-C30 engine, delivering 650 shaft horsepower. With a cruise speed of approximately 110 knots (126 mph) and a range of around 260 nautical miles, the MD530F is well-suited for tasks requiring precision flying, such as reconnaissance and patrol missions.

3. Bell 206 Jet Ranger: a renowned light utility helicopter, is esteemed for its compact design and exceptional maneuverability. Widely utilized in law enforcement, military, and civilian roles, it offers versatility across various missions. Typically priced around $1.2 million to $1.5 million, the cost may vary based on configuration, optional features, and market conditions. Powered by a Allison 250-C20j turboshaft engine, the Bell 206 Jet Ranger boasts 420 shaft horsepower, facilitating a cruise speed of approximately 112 knots (129 mph) and a range of about 374 nautical miles.

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4. Leonardo AW109 Power: renowned for its versatility and performance, is another compact and agile helicopter highly regarded in both civilian and military circles. It is often utilized in law enforcement, emergency medical services, corporate transport, and various other missions. Priced at approximately $3 million. Powered by twin Pratt & Whitney Canada PW206C engines, the AW109 Power boasts impressive capabilities with a cruise speed of approximately 154 knots (177 mph) and a range of up to 565 kilometers, making it suitable for missions requiring swift and efficient transportation over moderate distances.

Equipped with advanced avionics and spacious cabin accommodations, the AW109 Power provides a comfortable and safe flying experience for both pilots and passengers.

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5. Airbus H125: formerly known as the AS350 B3e, is a versatile and reliable helicopter renowned for its performance and adaptability. It is widely used across various industries, including law enforcement, emergency medical services, and aerial work. With a price typically ranging from $2.5 million, the cost can vary based on specific configurations, optional features.

Powered by a Turbomeca Arriel 2D engine, the H125 boasts robust performance, delivering approximately 847 shaft horsepower. Its cruise speed reaches around 133 knots (153 mph), offering swift and efficient transportation. The H125 also features a commendable range of approximately 357 nautical miles, making it suitable for extended missions or long-distance flights.

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Aviation

American Airlines Letter Sparks Outrage Over Flight Attendant Salary

American Airlines Launches 8 New Winter Routes to Latin America &Caribbean

An employment letter from American Airlines (AAL) has ignited a firestorm of controversy across social media platforms, shedding light on the stark reality of flight attendant salaries in the aviation industry.

Shared on Reddit and authenticated by the union representing American Airlines employees, the letter has drawn widespread attention for its revelation of starting salaries barely surpassing federal poverty levels.

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The actual letter AA gives new FAs when they move to NYC, Miami, Boston, Dallas etc.
byu/containment-failure inamericanairlines

Detailing the compensation package for new flight attendants, the letter discloses an hourly rate of $30.35 per flight hour, translating to an annual salary projection of $27,315 before incentives and taxes. This figure, notably below the poverty threshold for both individual and two-person households in 2024, has sparked outrage and disbelief among readers.

What further compounds the issue is the disclosure that flight attendants typically work between 65 to 85 flight hours each month, supplemented by an additional 50 hours dedicated to aircraft preparation before takeoff and after landing—tasks for which they receive no compensation.

This revelation underscores the significant gap between the demanding workload of flight attendants and the meager financial rewards they receive in return. The letter, designed for use in dealings with landlords and other service providers as proof of income, closes with a plea for understanding: “any courtesy you can provide would be appreciated.”

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This poignant appeal highlights the financial strain faced by many flight attendants who struggle to make ends meet on their current salaries. In response to these revelations, American Airlines flight attendants are mobilizing for action.

With negotiations underway for a new contract with the airline, which includes demands for higher pay, they are urging the White House to authorize their right to strike after a 30-day cooling-off period.

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